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    Saturday, 15 September 2018

    Dr Shireen Mazari expresses concern on World's silence on killing of Kashmiris

    Human Rights Minister  on Saturday expressed concern over the "oppression faced by innocent civilians due to atrocities committed by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir".
    "Violence demonstrated against citizens of occupied Kashmir by Indian forces is nothing new. The Indian army commits such acts every single day," she remarked.
    However, the "world's silence against human rights violations carried out by India is regrettable", she added.
    She urged the government to raise the issue of state aggression shown towards Kashmiris before the United Nations, also highlighting the need to draft a policy in the matter.
    Government forces killed five Kashmiri youths during a gunbattle in India-held Kashmir on Saturday, triggering violent anti-India protests in the disputed Himalayan region.
    Indian troops laid a siege around a southern village in Qazigund area overnight on a tip that militants were hiding there, police said.
    A fierce gunbattle erupted early on Saturday, and hours later, five local Kashmiri rebels were killed.
    The slain rebels belonged to the region's largest rebel group Hizbul Mujahideen, police said.
    The fighting sparked anti-India protests and clashes as hundreds of residents tried to march to the site of the battle in solidarity with the militants. Government forces fired warning shots, shotgun pellets and tear gas at the stone-throwing protesters, injuring at least six people.
    Most Kashmiris support the rebel cause that the territory be united either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country while also participating in civilian street protests against Indian control.
    In recent years, mainly young Kashmiris have displayed open solidarity with rebels and sought to protect them by engaging troops in street clashes during military operations.
    Rebels have been fighting Indian control since 1989. India accuses Pakistan of arming and training the rebels, a charge Islamabad denies.
    Nearly 70,000 people have been killed in the uprising and the ensuing Indian military crackdown.
     Thousands of women in Kashmir have suffered immensely due to the ongoing violence. Sisters have died saving their brothers, young wives have died defending their husbands and mothers have died longing for their missing sons. All of them have left behind shattered families, grieving parents and young children – a void filled only with memories, suffering and hopelessness.
    Blood, Censored: When Kashmiris Become the ‘Enemy’, a recent book written by Pamela Philipose, Navsharan Singh, Tapan Bose, Dinesh Mohan and Harsh Mander, has discussed the sufferings of Kashmiri women.
    “[There] was a woman who was so affected by her son’s death that she banged her head in despair and fractured her skull. Another shattered mother would visit shrines and keep repeating the words, ‘Get my son’,” the book quotes a leading psychiatrist, Dr Arshad Hussain, as saying. One woman in Shopian could not survive long after the killing of her youngest son. Another was “losing her eyesight after she learnt of her son’s death”.
    Women in conflict zones are twice as likely to suffer from mental health problems as men, Hussain told one of the authors. This rings so true for the women in Kashmir — and then some more.

    Shah Mehmood Qureshi's use of private plane

    Issuing a clarification regarding the foreign minister's use of a private aircraft to travel to Kabul for a state visit to Afghanistan, Mazari said: "There were no available commercial flights to Afghanistan due to which he had to make use of the state's official aircraft."
    "To take an entire commercial flight for just one person to Kabul would have proved costlier," she explained.
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